North­ern side make it two in a row

Central Leader - - SPORT - By JEREMY RUANE

De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons North­ern Foot­ball saw off Auck­land Foot­ball 2-0 to re­tain the ASB Women’s League crown at Fred Tay­lor Park on Sun­day.

The vis­i­tors en­joyed the bet­ter of the first half ex­changes in the grand fi­nal but a solid sec­ond half dis­play from North­ern was enough to keep the sil­ver­ware on the north­ern side of the har­bour bridge.

The crosstown ri­vals headed to the half­time break locked nil-all but sec­ond-half goals from Tayla O’Brien and Ge­or­gia Brown were enough to con­firm the ti­tle for the home team.

It was a win built on de­fence with both Brid­gette Arm­strong and Tessa Berger work­ing hard to halt the scor­ing run of former Foot­ball Fern Re­becca Tegg.

A shot at the post from Tegg in the first half was the clos­est Auck­land came to grasp­ing what would have been their first na­tional ti­tle since 2009.

Brown also hit the wood­work for North­ern dur­ing the sec­ond spell in what was her fi­nal game in New Zealand.

The Three Kings United flank player is head­ing to Philadel­phia’s Tem­ple Univer­sity early next year to take up a schol­ar­ship op­por­tu­nity.

North­ern coach Mauro Donoso says los­ing piv­otal play­ers from last sea­son’s ti­tle-win­ning squad was mas­sive but his cur­rent play­ers have suc­cess­fully stepped up to fill the gaps and lead the team to an­other vic­tory.

Pho­tos: DAVID ROW­LAND

De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons: North­ern Foot­ball de­fended their ASB Women’s League ti­tle de­feat­ing crosstown ri­vals Auck­land Foot­ball in the grand fi­nal.

Go to cen­tral­leader.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion for more pho­tos. Win­ning goal: Ge­or­gia Brown sealed the win for North­ern, scor­ing against Auck­land’s Erin Nayler.

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